Cyclones introduce fall squads

By Allen LaMountain
ASST. SPORTS EDITOR
alamountain@starhq.com

   On Tuesday night in John Treadway Gymnasium, the fall edition of the Elizabethton Cyclones girls soccer, freshman football, JV volleyball and varsity football squads along with each teams' respective coaches were introduced.
   The golf team was at a Roane Valley meet with Johnson County and Happy Valley, and the varsity volleyball squad was at a scrimmage as well, so they were not able to be introduced to the assemblage.
   Golf coach Dave Rider said of his squad: "We have a competitive group of guys. They just need to get over their stage fright. We have four matches coming up in the next four days, be they'll be all right."
   Coach Bill McClay introduced his girls soccer team after the invocation by football coach Eddie Pless, and McClay spoke of his squads dedication to the upcoming season, saying: "I want these girls to be seen as a team, not as 22 separate individuals out for some sport, but as a group of athletes working together to gain respect and a reputation that they can hold their heads high when people talk about Elizabethton soccer."
   With two seniors on the team, McClay has a young team eager to set itself apart and eager to prove themselves.
   "This team won 10 games and went to the regional," McClay said. "They scored 53 goals and did all kinds of positives, but I have to go with what they wanted me to say.
   "And that is 'Even though we are a young team, we expect great things. We had an awesome season last year, but we will be even better this year and will go even further.'"
   Freshman football coach Ryan Witten introduced his team as well as three coaches that have volunteered to help out this fall: Rick Wagner, Jeff Livingston and Jerry Jenkins.
   Witten said of his players: "It's only our second day, but a lot of these guys have been practicing with the varsity, and a lot of these guys don't weigh but 140 pounds going up against guys like big Vince (Redd). If they hang in there, their time will come."
   The varsity football squad broke down into the individual units after an introduction by head coach Tommy Jenkins, with each coach introducing the players within that unit.
   Special teams coach Brian Moore said: "I have a special obligation to two young men that are our team's kickers. They come out to the practice field every day and I make them kick 60, 70 or 100 kicks a day to keep them in shape."
   Brandon Blevins was introduced by Moore, who said, "Football Time in Tennessee rated (Blevins) one of the top three punters in the state of Tennessee."
   Chris Hambrick, the receivers coach, was full of enthusiasm with his group, saying: "These guys all work hard as a group. Daniel Merryman and Vince Redd will be the tight ends. (Adam) Turley has great hands, and J.R. McFarland has grown by leaps and bounds. Lester (Bailey) will be fine if we can get him to come out of his shell, and we expect great things from him."
   Eddie Pless, as offensive coordinator/quarterback coach, introduced the five quarterbacks that 'Betsy has on its squad this season.
   "Last year we had one quarterback, and this year we have five," said Pless. "And we expect big things out of all of them. Ryan Curtis is our senior, and he's big, strong and throws the ball well. Ryan has a chance to be one of the best around."